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|Index||12 reviews in total|
This would definitely not have been my kind of movie, but my husband saw it on TV and said it was really good. So, on his recommendation, I bought a copy, since I didn't know if it would ever be on TV again. I had never heard of anybody in it except Armand Assante. At first I had a hard time getting into the story, because the first part of the movie is a jumble of images-- and it doesn't make much sense. It is only later in the movie that it all comes together. The scene-cutting- if that's what it's called, is a bit jarring-- it sometimes looks as if a few frames have been cut out of each scene, and the scenes are jerky--but I guess that was done to add to the unusualness (if that's a word). The story veers here and there, and just about the time you have it all figured out, everything turns upside down and you have to readjust your thinking as to who is the bad guy and who is not. Or bad woman. The acting is very good-- I kept thinking how much Norman Reedus looks like Leo Decaprio. The ending was a real twist, totally unexpected, which I liked. A good show.
Didn't really know what to expect from this movie-and found myself
being pleasantly surprised. I picked it up because I recently stumbled
across Norman Reedus and am trying to find more of the films that he's
I'm not big into hustler movies or con movies, but I have to say, this one roped me in within minutes. Probably because I couldn't quit figure out exactly who was hustling who. This movie is stylish and fast-paced, with a story that is believable thanks to location and fantastic performances.
While I was impressed with most in the film, I must say Dagmara Dominczyk was simply excellent.
Give it a chance-it's a really fun film.
This one surprised me.
I read a few reviews beforehand that called it a good B-grade movie and was prepared for the worst. Halfway through it I suddenly realised I was completely wrapped up in it and enjoying it a lot. There were some really tense moments that had you sitting forward fiddling nervously with the remote control or any other object in reach. Overall this movie definitely doesn't deserve the B-grade tag.
Credit must be given to Director, Gary Ellis and writers, Bill Boatman & Todd King for their movie debut. I hope these guys continue with bigger budgets and some studio backing.
Not having heard of this film, it came as a surprise when it was shown
on cable recently. Gary Ellis, the gifted director of "Tough Luck",
does wonders with the screen play written by Bill Boatman and Todd
King. The film involves the viewer from the start.
Archie, the young hustler at the center of this story, has been involved in all kinds of petty crime. In fact, we witness a confrontation right at the beginning which makes him get out of New Orleans, as fast as he can. He ends up in the carnival that is run by the mysterious Ike. Archie falls for Davina, the woman he should have been wise to stay away from. The result proves a fatal judgment for Archie who then becomes the object of double crossing all around.
The director should be commended by the casting of Norman Reedus, who obviously is loved by the camera. In spite of his nature, one feels for him because we know his heart is in the right place. The beautiful Dagmara Dominczyk is perfect as the exotic dancer Divana who, in spite of being Ike's lover, entices Archie into falling heads over heels with her. Armand Assante is barely understandable with the thick accent he speaks during the first half of the film.
"Tough Luck" shows a new director, Gary Ellis, showing he will go to do bigger and better things because he knows what he is doing.
Norman Reedus is Archie, a 20ish grifter. Having been chased from a
nearby casino run by some bad guys, he joins Armand Assante's carnival
where he is attracted to Assante's wife and snake charmer. It appears
that this neo-noir is entering "Postman Rings Twice" turf, but it's
Assante who wants Reedus to dispose of his wife. Reedus and the lady
(Dagmara Domincyck) have other ideas, and so does Assante. Before long,
Reedus is in over his head, at least for this portion of the
But this is only the beginning of the intrigue in "Tough Luck". Reedus may be down, but he's not out. A year goes by and he runs across Domincyck in New Orleans. What happens in the rest of the movie is likely to entertain, filled as it is with surprise twists.
This is the kind of story where the police put in only a token appearance fairly early on, and instead all the main characters have illegal agendas and all are willing to double cross each other. This keeps you guessing and is quite a lot of fun.
I'll admit - I only watched this movie for Norman but, I ended up liking it. In the end, Norman's acting can make any movie appealing. But that wasn't the case with this one. He wasn't the only one doing a good job. I feel that most of the actors in this movie were up to par. The first thing that got my attention is that it takes place in Louisiana. Always cool to see people running around the French Quarter. Also very cool to see Mandeville pop up, you don't see that as often. I'm not quite sure that that part was actually filmed in Mandeville but still cool to see the name pop up at the bottom of the screen. I'm not usually into these types of movies but, I liked this one because it was twisty and the ending really did surprise me.
TOUGH LUCK follows a homeless drifter as he becomes entangled in the
underground crime world of deception and chaos. Archie(Norman Reedus)
has been released from prison and has nothing to lose. He is almost
killed before the owner of a carnival named Ike(Armand Assante) hires
him for work. Soon Ike discloses a strong desire for Archie to murder
his mischievous wife, Divana(Dagmara Dominczyk), an erotic dancer for
the Carnival. Things soon get complicated when Archie falls in love
with Divana and warns her of the scheme. They become involved in a very
steamy affair that leaves little to the imagination of the viewer,
after which they soon make a plan. Together they plot to murder Ike,
but things don't go quite as planned.
I would be lying if I said that this film didn't surprise me. I was, personally, blown away by how good this film was. Upon renting it several years back, I was expecting another cliché thriller with a lot of the typical elements and themes that are shown in a lot of films of that type these days. Within minutes I was hooked and found myself quite involved with the world of this film. It's the kind of film, much like BUFFALO '66, that just sucks you in and transports you into the style and the feeling of paranoia. It is a film that really pulls it off in stunning fashion. One thing I particularly appreciated was how the film depicted it's characters. The film isn't as easy and clear cut as it may appear in the plot summary. These are characters that you actually grow to care about and are fascinated by, including the characters that are supposed to be the bad guys. In truth, there are no good guys or bad guys in this film. All of the characters are flawed in ways that are realistic and incredibly true-to-life. There aren't many films that manage to accomplish this task as flawlessly as this film does, but it's definitely a film style that I like and I want to see more of from films today. There were quite a few crime films that were like that back in the early 50s, but there hasn't been one as gripping and unique as this ever since!
In terms of flaws, I have mostly very minor gripes. The film itself isn't exactly original. However, I doubt that most folks would expect it to be original. The film's editing style also may be irritating to some folks as it tends to have a camcorder type of shaky cam throughout. While I wasn't bothered by it and actually felt that it added to the atmosphere, I'm sure most viewers will not be as enthralled by it and may find it generally off-putting. Despite the minor flaws, however, this is one of the most underrated films of the 2000s. It's so refreshing to get lucky and watch an unknown film that turns out to be good. It seems as if this film was a direct-to-video release, though this film is far better than that. Had it been put in theaters, it wouldn't have won any awards nor would it have been seen much, but it would have a lot more recognition than it has today. Recognition that this film deserves. TOUGH LUCK is an astounding, entertaining, and twisted neo-noir thriller with a real sense of class and style juxtapose and with enough substance to make the average moviegoer more than simply satisfied.
Like a twisty country road, "Tough Luck" takes the viewer for a ride. There is nothing wrong with plot curves, as long as believability doesn't fly out the window. Unfortunately in the end the film does challenge an audience's belief tolerance. Nevertheless, it is easy to forgive this fault due to the superior acting, character development, and wonderful carnival atmosphere. Do not expect to like any of the characters. Armand Asante, Norman Redus, and Dagmara Dominczyk, play shady con-artists, not exactly the type of person easily admired. The double crosses come fast and furious, and the final cross is a bit of a stretch. Recommended. - MERK
I like Armand Assante & my cable company's summary sounded interesting,
so I watched it, twice already, and probably will again.
The early part is difficult to follow, but later it clears up. I believe the screenwriter did a good job of tying up the loose ends.
Some of the acting is unconvincing, but maybe that's because I was always expecting some kind of double-cross. In that case, the poor acting would be the insincerity of the characters interacting with each other, so it fits very well.
The important theme is the carnival owner (Assante) is laundering money for a local casino & his snake-charmer wife (Dagmara Dominczyk) wants to steal it. She complains to "Archie" (Reedus) how terrible her life is, and how he could help her get out of it.
There are 3 or 4 plot twists (which is probably the reason for all of those loose ends), and just when you think you have solved the mystery, something else will happen.
My 8/10 score is mostly for the plot.
I won't say any more - I don't like spoilers, so I don't want to be one, but I believe this film is worth your time.
Richard Corliss of Time Magazine says actor Steve Comisar really nails
it. A tour de force in the competitive acting industry. US Weekly says
Steve Comisar delivers a powerful acting performance as the jilted
lover, Stan, in Tough Luck. Norman Reedus and Dagmara Dominczyk also
deliver stellar performances. Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times
says Tough Luck is exciting from the very first scene and never lets
up. Highly recommended for all movie fans.
People Magazine calls Steve Comisar 'a delightful and charismatic presence on the Hollywood movie scene'. He is certainly destined for greatness. Comisar is truly impressive as Stan in Tough Luck, and in all his other movie and television roles. Norman Reedus and Steve Comisar light up the screen in Tough Luck.
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